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Subject: BGG Wargame Designer of the Month: Danny Holte rss

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Hunga Dunga
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This month's Wargame Designer of the Month is Mr. Danny Holte. Mr. Holte is a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He began gaming in the early 1970's with Afrika Korps. Since then he has designed over a dozen games, and won The Charles Roberts Award in 2008 for June '44.

Mr. Holte is probably best known for The Battle for Normandy. He is currently working on The Battle for Sicily (My pre-order is in!).



Mr. Holte has invited us for a drink to chat about wargames.

Please give him a warm, BGG Sub-domain welcome!
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Max Coffey
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Welcome Mr. Danny Holte! A question. Was it always your intention to publish the Battle for Normandy Expansion Kit? I have found the game requires the expansion over the course of the battle to have a complete feel for the situation. My solo VASSAL play went very much along historical lines with the breakout in the American sector after much slugging in the Caen area. The breakout was an absolute torrent which I wanted to play fully, but the Commonwealth was sluggish in forward movement after a longer than historical German defense. The Eastern Germans barely managed to escape the Falaise Gap, and Much of the German Army was destroyed or captured. Very Satisfying. Thanx for the game.
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Roger Hobden
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Congratulations Mr Holte !

I purchased quite recently The Supreme Commander, and will be playing it very soon.

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Jim F
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Am currently playing The Supreme Commander and really enjoying it. Very happy I bought it.

Any thoughts about a Pacific edition?
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Danny Holte
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Wow, thanks!

Sorry for the delay in responding but I'm still trying to catch up after a year out of country.

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Septic wrote:
Welcome Mr. Danny Holte! A question. Was it always your intention to publish the Battle for Normandy Expansion Kit? I have found the game requires the expansion over the course of the battle to have a complete feel for the situation. My solo VASSAL play went very much along historical lines with the breakout in the American sector after much slugging in the Caen area. The breakout was an absolute torrent which I wanted to play fully, but the Commonwealth was sluggish in forward movement after a longer than historical German defense. The Eastern Germans barely managed to escape the Falaise Gap, and Much of the German Army was destroyed or captured. Very Satisfying. Thanx for the game.


Thanks.

Well, it was and it wasn't... laugh

Many of the additional rules were things that I came up and we played during development, but not enough to add it in. Some worked out well, but I decided not to add because it further complicated the rules.

The other major consideration was the added map footprint. Just that extra half map puts it over the edge of most common table configurations and we were trying not to do that.

Of course, in an expansion those concerns are alleviated because they aren't required for the base game. We talked about it as a possibility before the original release, but not a definite plan. It was only a few months in that we had a lot enthusiasm for more, so that was that...
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Ashiefan wrote:

Am currently playing The Supreme Commander and really enjoying it. Very happy I bought it.

Any thoughts about a Pacific edition?


Yes but nothing at all concrete yet. There are some ideas that I've had but I really haven't had the chance to put it together,

I need to get Sicily done before considering that one. It's not a simple matter, since they are fights that happened on entirely different operational scales and tempos.
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Hi Mr. Holte!

Do you have an idea of when Sicily will be published?
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I played The Battle for Normandy with my group and liked it a lot. A playable monster and it fits our gaming group needs, with players of different experience and ability. Thanks for providing us many hours of enjoyment

Just one question: Why allied division are rated only for OBA and TOE and their rating does not include battle experience and training? It seems strange that 1st infantry or airborne divisions ratings are similar to other US divisions.

Eagerly waiting for The Battle for Sicily.
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Thanks Mr Holte for keeping us safe.

I see you have the Army and Air Force covered. Any plans to pull a stint in the Navy? Coast Guard?

I pre-ordered Sicily because it was a campaign that I haven't studied much, so I wanted to know more about it. Can you tell us what your motivation was to design a game on that subject?

All the best!
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Hungadunga wrote:
Hi Mr. Holte!

Do you have an idea of when Sicily will be published?


I'm going to start work on it again very soon; over the next week or two. It was playing quite well before I left. There was one major scenario that is going to take a lot of work, especially balancing but it is well along. I can't really say when because as always, things will depend on the pace and quality of the testing.
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jpr755 wrote:
Thanks Mr Holte for keeping us safe.

I see you have the Army and Air Force covered. Any plans to pull a stint in the Navy? Coast Guard?

I pre-ordered Sicily because it was a campaign that I haven't studied much, so I wanted to know more about it. Can you tell us what your motivation was to design a game on that subject?

All the best!


Thanks.

Two things; personal interest in the battle and that it hasn't really been done at this scale before.

Additionally, I was drawn to the challenge of creating a 3-player scenario with Patton and Monty pitted against each other while still having to defeat the Axis player at a team. Of course, this one creates the biggest design challenge as well.
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Danny Holte
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cafagna wrote:
I played The Battle for Normandy with my group and liked it a lot. A playable monster and it fits our gaming group needs, with players of different experience and ability. Thanks for providing us many hours of enjoyment

Just one question: Why allied division are rated only for OBA and TOE and their rating does not include battle experience and training? It seems strange that 1st infantry or airborne divisions ratings are similar to other US divisions.

Eagerly waiting for The Battle for Sicily.


It was some of the more experienced divisions that did not perform well, often to the surprise of the US and UK commands. This is why I allowed the dice to dictate the success of the various divisions; the uncertainty. I seriously considered it, but it didn't seem right to tip the scales but allowing the Allied players to know exactly which divisions were the hero and which were the goat.

I did include suggested historical divisional quality ratings in the new expansion rulebook. These were based on performance in the field not how they were expected to perform.
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Matt Irsik
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Dan, TBFN and the expansion are very well done and I'm anxiously looking forward to the Sicily game. Have you thought about applying this system to other invasion type battles such as Crete, Norway, Anzio, or even a Operation Sea Lion invasion of England? Thanks.
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Congrats, Mr. Holte. I also recently purchased The Supreme Commander. Fantastic looking game.
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You've designed several games covering D-Day and the battle for Normandy, and what's fascinating is how you've used different scales:

Destination: Normandy - 25 minutes - 24 counters - 8.5x11" map
June '44 - 120 minutes - 120 counters - 11x17" map
D-Day: The Great Crusade - 120 minutes - 480 counters - Two 22x34" maps
The Battle for Normandy - 240 minutes - 1080 counters - Five 22x34" maps

What sort of events & story come through regardless of the scale, and which require the level detail that are only possible with a full table & day (or weekend) to play?
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Congratulations!

Sal
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Peso Pete wrote:
Congrats, my friend! I was so happy to see your Normandy game released because I remember everything you went through to finally get it published! Are you still playing the ccg's I sold you with your kids or have they outgrown them by now? [Disclaimer: Danny was a patron when I owned a game store in Carlsbad, CA]


Hey, Pete!

They've kinda' moved on from playing games or being seen around their parents but maybe some day...
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mirsik wrote:
Dan, TBFN and the expansion are very well done and I'm anxiously looking forward to the Sicily game. Have you thought about applying this system to other invasion type battles such as Crete, Norway, Anzio, or even a Operation Sea Lion invasion of England? Thanks.


Yes, but I need to get Sicily done before looking at anything else.
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Hi Danny, I played three of your designs and I like more your mini-wargames than the full treatment in this order:

Last Gamble: The Battle of the Bulge

June '44

The Battle for Normandy

The reason being is that you have a magic to simplify things in elegant way and thus playable with meaty historicity. You are best with divisional operational level. I felt a bit flat with the more tactical-operational Battle for Normandy. The next thing to game is The Supreme Commander and I hope to see how do you approach the design of a strategic level wargame.
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